Homesteading Mars

by Bruce A. Mackenzie,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


The author gives serious study to setting up a permanent Martian base during the first or second manned Mars mission. The savings of fuel and equipment for the return trips might pay for the extra equipment and supplies needed. The construction equipment and techniques should be simple and 'low-tech', to allow for flexibility and repair. Good analogies for living on Mars are the cold, high altitude, isolated areas of Earth such as Tibet and the Andes, or 18-century America (not Antarctica). Buried brick vaults are recommended because bricks could be manufactured indoors in a small area using Martian dust, and because tensile materials may be difficult to make and not trustworthy. Design concepts for Martian buildings are presented.

Subject Headings: Construction equipment | Bricks | Construction methods | Energy efficiency | Fuels | Dust | Ultimate strength | Space construction | Tibet | China | Asia | Andes | Antarctica

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